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The garden of good and very good. Meet Chalet Nursery's Lawson Thalmann. P10

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CELEBRATE COMMUNITY CELEBRATE HIGHWOOD SWITCHES GEARS TO FOCUS ON COMMUNITY INITIATIVES IN 2020. BY KEMMIE RYAN THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

Typically, a sure sign of summer is the opening of Celebrate Highwood’s Wednesday Evening Market followed by the group’s abundant family-friendly festival and event season. However, like many events this year, the nonprofit had a difficult decision to make and has chosen to cancel its 2020 line-up in light of Governor Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan. “With the uncertainty and constant changes due to COVID-19, we decided full cancellation of the 2020 season was the right thing to do,” says Ken Robertson, Co-President of Celebrate Highwood. “We are going to take all the time, effort, and energy it takes to plan our wonderful events; and put that into helping boost our community morale and keep our local economies going.” The first of Celebrate Highwood’s new programs was launched on April 30, raising more than $4,000 in just two days to supply enough grocery bags full of fresh food, produce, and staples for more than 200 local

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NEWS

VIRTUAL ZUMBA

LIVE! FROM MUSIC CITY SHERIDAN ROAD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION FUNDRAISER— SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND—WILL GO VIRTUAL ON MAY 21. BY MITCH HURST THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

The show must go on. That's the message from Sheridan Road Charitable Foundation (SRCF) and three gifted and award-winning songwriters who will perform from a Nashville studio to a virtual audience on the evening of May 21. Since its founding in 2013, the Foundation has organized Songwriters in the Round, intimate concerts featuring some of Nashville's most decorated songwriters, to raise money for the Foundation's nonprofit partners. The 11th edition, and the first performed virtually due to Covid-19, will feature Kelley Lovelace, Chris DeStefano, and Ashley Gorley, who collectively have written more than 60 number one singles for country stars such as Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, and Thomas Rhett. "The idea for the Songwriters in the Round benefit came out of a conversation I had with Pete Fisher, a good friend of mine and the former CEO of the Academy of Country Music," says Daniel Bryant, founder of the SRCF. Concerts in the past have been held in Denver, Nashville, and at Joe's on Weed Street, in Chicago. "It's a very unique experience that isn't being done anywhere else," adds Bryant. "We're bringing in the storytelling songwriters for intimate concerts, and it's worked out really well."

Betsy Sorensen and Daniel Bryant at the Nashville Songwriters in the Round event from last November at the Standard at the Smith House. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SRCF To date, the Songwriters in the Round concerts—the first was held in 2013—have raised more than $1 million for nonprofit organizations which are aligned with SRCF's mission. Over the years, 14 different organizations have received funding as a result of fundraising from the concerts. "If you look at the three areas of focus for

Continued on PG 7

CHEEP DATE Bird watching is in season

the Foundation, they are, first, making impactful investments into urban educational initiatives that can improve outcomes for kids," Bryant says. "Number two is helping underresourced communities through after-school and mentorship programs, and the third is Continued on PG 7


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To Welz Kauffman and the Ravinia Board of Trustees, Thank you for your leadership during these unprecedented times. Ravinia is a shining star of our community and a gift to audiences and performers alike. Our family and so many others will miss this long-standing summer tradition. We look forward to returning for the 2021 festival.

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INDEX

NEWS

John Conatser FOUNDER & PUBLISHER

8 sharing zumba love virtually

ADVERTISING

Mother–daughter Zumba team offers exercise classes online to keep kids healthy and busy.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Elaine Doremus Kemmie Ryan Sherry Thomas

LIFESTYLE & ARTS

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Snippets of nature to enjoy on the North Shore

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Daily North Shore .com

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PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART

E-commerce manager Lawson Thalmann, Chalet Nursery enjoy perennial success.

Barry Blitt ILLUSTRATOR Kirsten Ulve ILLUSTRATOR Mindy Kovco ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER ALL ADVERTISING INQUIRY INFO SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO 847.370.6940 & JENNIFER@JWCMEDIA.COM FIND US ONLINE: DAILYNORTHSHORE.COM LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! © 2020 THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND A PUBLICATION OF JWC MEDIA 445 SHERIDAN RD., HIGHWOOD, IL 60040

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NEWS LIVE! FROM MUSIC CITY

From PG 1

and soul." This past year, 100 percent of seniors enrolled in By the Hand Club for Kids graduated high cancer and health care awareness where we've school and more than 75 percent went on to funded projects like mobile mammograms and technical school or university. The organization dental trucks." works with children from five low-income neighFour organizations that focus on helping unborhoods in Chicago that have been identified derprivileged school children and teens will benefit by their public schools as needing extra help. from this year's Songwriters in the Round benefit. "The kids are already falling through the cracks academically and that's really what Sheridan Road Charitable Foundation likes and appreciates, that we're not serving kids at the top," Yount says. "We're serving those kids that are most likely to drop out of school and we're coming alongside them, helping them with homework, helping them with reading." The organization also provides financial assistance to children and families such as health care and dental care, and even hot meals each evening. During the Covid-19 crisis, it has supplied 300 of its students with laptops so they can continue to learn at home. "We're not just helping these kids it's like they're growing up with us and we want to see them all the way through," Yount says. Mary Frances Tharpe is executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope Colorado, another of the Foundation's recipient organizations focused on elementary and secondary education. The organization provides mentoring Neil Thrasher, Kelley Lovelace, Chris DeStefano at the Nashville Songwriters in the Round event from last and educational opportunities for November at the Standard at the Smith House PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SRCF underserved kids, who have academic potential and motivation, They include Boys Hope Girls Hope in Denver, than 1,600 children helping to guide them through but need some help beyond school to get them through high school graduation and on to college. Oz Arts in Nashville, and By the Hand Club for school and life. "At By The Hand Club for Kids, we just do "We help kids in high school, who are at risk Kids and Communities in Schools in Chicago. All four have existing relationships with the what our name says," says Susannah Schwarcz of not graduating, prepare for high school graduSheridan Road Charitable Foundation and Bryant Yount, the organization's Senior Director for Fund ation with the idea that they will in most cases says they and the Foundation have a shared vision. Development. "We take kids by the hand and go off to college," Tharpe says. "Then we support "We've vetted them to make sure they are a walk with them kindergarten through college, them with a scholarship through college." Through partnerships with two high schools match or a good fit for us, and from a geograph- helping them have an abundant life—mind, body, CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

From PG 1

families. Partnering with Nuestro Center, BellaRu Catering, and Mis Dos Magos, food was distributed to families in need by Family Service of Lake County. “We are so overwhelmed with this outpouring of support from and for our community,” says Kirsten Kuhlmann, newly appointed Executive Director of Celebrate Highwood. Gail Hodges, Director of Development at Family Service of Lake County, said of the immediate Celebrate Highwood financial support, “You certainly gave us a reason to celebrate, when an ongoing high tide of donations to support food for our families came flooding into our Emergency Fund! I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to help secure the well-being of our families who have been so disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.” Donations can be made online (famservice. org/get-involved/fslc-emergency-fund) in any amount, with as little as $9 providing a prepared meal and $30 covering the cost essential paper goods, bleach, dish soap, and gloves for THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

ic standpoint we want to make sure our donations are going to the right areas," Bryant says. "Oftentimes there are very specific initiatives within each organization and that's how we initially built a relationship with them." By Hand Club for Kids in Chicago partners with Chicago Public Schools to provide resources and mentorship for at-risk school children ages K-12. The organization currently works with more

in Denver, the organization identifies 8th grade students who are motivated, want to be in school and go to college, but just need a road map to help them get there. Tharpe says that funding from the Songwriters in the Round benefit will be particularly helpful this year because fundraising will lag due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy. "It's huge to be getting this funding. We are a small organization and we really stretch every dollar," Tharpe says. "We really appreciate the support of the funding community." In addition to the contribution, Tharpe says the exposure that the event brings to her organization is of high value, and she's also a fan of the music. "This is a really fun event. It's so great to hear the backstory with the art of the songwriter and how the song came to be," Tharpe says. "Especially when you hear the song again on the radio." For songwriter Kelley Lovelace—who's written hits for all of the country music leadine artists, including his longtime friend, Brad Paisley— Songwriters in the Round is an opportunity for him to continue to give back and to support causes that are close to his heart, something he's been doing since early in his career. Originally from Chattanooga, Lovelace first got involved with Bethel Bible Village, a home for teens from troubled backgrounds. When he moved to Nashville, he continued the association and began working with other charities, including St. Jude. His commitment to SRCF and the Songwriters in the Round began with the first concert in 2013 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and he's participated in all but one of the events since. "You know it just feels good to give back because especially with the songwriting thing, there's no rhyme or reason why you have success," Lovelace says. "It's not always the most talented person who wins. Being a Christian, I feel like anything that's happened to me over the course of my career, I've been really blessed." Songwriters in the Round will air online on May 21 at 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. For more information about the event and how to donate to the Sheridan Road Charitable Foundation, visit srcfoundation.com.

an entire family. Although fans of Celebrate Highwood’s popular Bloody Mar y Fest, Nashwood, Pumpkin Fest, and more may be disappointed this year, the group is still planning creative pop-up events that align with the themes. “We have such a creative and energetic Celebrate Highwood Board and we are looking forward to announcing some fun activities to continue to support our local causes,” says Michael Goldstein, Co-President of Celebrate Highwood. “We’re deeply missing our community connections right now and are working hard to develop engaging programming. We are looking forward to when we can all come together again in Highwood to do what we do best—have fun with neighbors and friends.” Kuhlmann adds, “Our fabulous family friendly festivals and events will not go away. We need everyone’s support now more than ever!” For more information on Celebrate Highwood ’s ongoing philanthropic initiatives, programs, and events visit, celebratehighwood.org or facebook. com/celebratehighwood.

Celebrate Highwood raised funds to distribute bags of groceries to families in need through Family Service of Lake County. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CELEBRATE HIGHWOOD SATURDAY MAY 16 | SUNDAY MAY 17 2020 |

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NEWS

SHARING ZUMBA LOVE VIRTUALLY MOTHER–DAUGHTER ZUMBA TEAM OFFERS EXERCISE CLASSES ONLINE TO KEEP KIDS HEALTHY AND BUSY. BY MITCH HURST THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

When schools were shut down in March due to Governor Pritzker's stay-at-home order, Melissa Kerpel, an attorney in Highland Park, and her daughter, Julia, were teaching Zumba classes at Highland Park High School. They were doing this through Working Together, a nonprofit that assists low-income kids and families in Highwood and the surrounding region. The question was, what to do now? "Along with the schools lots of other activities, including Zumba, were closed down, and I told my mom, 'We have to do something to keep everyone active and healthy,’" Julia Kerpel says. "So we started doing the livestream Zumba classes over Zoom and Twitch and everyone loved it." Julia, a freshman at Highland Park High School, and Melissa now teach five or six Zoom classes a week with attendance ranging from 30 to 40 for each session, including those from the Working Together along with members of the Recreation Center of Highland Park, where Melissa also taught classes. They've reconfigured the basement of their house into a Zumba studio to simulate a real Zumba class for their virtual audience. Just like when they were offering physical classes, the online classes are free of charge and the Kerpels have tried to make it as easy as possible for people to log on for the sessions. "The idea is for everyone to enjoy it and do something and get some exercise during the lockdown," Melissa Kerpel says. Some participants are asking how they can make a donation, and so the Kerpels are accept-

Julia, Inez, and Melissa Kerpel represent three generations of family Zumba teachers.

ing them and donating them to the local food pantry in Highland Park and to Feeding America. They've raised and donated more than $1,500 to date. The two are also trying to make sure they offer classes for all ages, and they aren't the only two generations in the family who are certified Zumba instructors. Inez Garber, Melissa Ker-

pel's 76-year-old mother and Julia's grandmother, is also certified and is dialing into the classes. "Our classes vary from regular Zumba, which is aerobic dance to latin music, to Zumba toning, which incorporates light weights for resistance training. Also, Julia spearheads Zumba kids, and she teaches songs that kids love, like Disney

and more pop songs on the radio," Melissa adds. Julia Kerpel also does a craft project at the conclusion of her kids classes that involves using common items that can be found around the home. While being able to offer their talents for free in a way that can benefit families and kids during this time is satisfying, it's having a project mom and daughter can do together that's the most fun. "That's one of the best parts of it. We're silly and fun, but you know this is a very difficult time for everyone. A lot of the participants are watching the news," Melissa says. "This is something to look forward to. We like to workout together, we enjoy the music together, we have fun together, and we like to share that joy with people online but also give back to the community. We try to share that Zumba love." Those interested in participation in a Zumba class can go to zumba.com, and search on Melissa Kerpel or Julia Kerpel, or click on juliakerpel. zumba.com/ and zumba.com/en-US/prof ile/melissa-kerpel/17593.

LIFESTYLE & ARTS

NORTH SHORTS

WHO’S WHAT?

SNIPPETS OF NATURE TO ENJOY ON THE NORTH SHORE BY MIKE LUBOW THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

Today, while spending another stay-at-home day during the era of Covid-19, you passed some time in front of your den’s picture window watching a mated pair of redheaded woodpeckers. They were hammering out a North Shore honeymoon home high in a tree that’s got deep roots in the neighborhood. Good. Nature websites report that such redheaded woodpeckers are becoming rare. But what’s really rare is this: the two birds, one male, the other female, look exactly alike.  In the bird world, sex is usually identified by differences in color. For instance: a male

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scarlet tanager is red, while his mate is yellowgreen. Even your backyard robins have shades of difference based on gender. But, with redheaded woodpeckers there’s no way to tell! According to experts, even experts can’t. Males and females are the same size and build, with identical coloration.  How do the birds know who’s what?  This has even stumped our greatest know-it-all, the internet.  That’s okay. The internet can be stumped, and so can we. The redheaded woodpeckers seen through your window are the ones who need to know, and they do. This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com. THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


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S U N D AY B R E A K FA S T

CHALET’S CACHET CONTINUES TO GROW BY BILL MCLEAN ILLUSTRATION BY BARRY BLITT

Lawson Thalmann’s dream to play in the NBA dribbled out of bounds halfway through his basketball career at Loyola Academy. But not because he had lost the drive to shoot high and land a professional contract in his favorite sport someday. The scion of family-owned Chalet Nursery in Wilmette was a guard for the Ramblers’ smallish squads more than 10 years ago, a tenacious defensive specialist who often had to defend taller hoopsters—“trees”—in the paint. Thalmann sprouted, gradually, to a height of 6-feet-2. He stayed 6-2. “Didn’t have that significant growth spurt,” the Glenview native and 2009 Loyola Academy graduate says, chuckling. Thalmann later pivoted—off the court. “There’s a rule for those in a family business,” says the 29-year-old, who majored in economics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and is studying for an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “It says you should skin your knees doing something else, so that when you do join the family business, you’ll have a rounded-out perspective. I was enamored with the stock market, involved with a couple of start-ups, and I worked in financial services after college. “But I always knew working at Chalet would be my calling.” Thalmann serves as Chalet Nursery’s ECommerce Manager, and, before Gov. J.B. Pritzker deemed garden centers in Illinois an essential business on May 1, wondered how much longer he could hit his bed’s pillow at 2 a.m. and wake up for work two hours later. He endured a six-week stretch without a day off. Late last month, the second month of the pandemic, Thalmann was busier than a metropolis’ lone florist on Valentine’s Day. “We were taking about 200 online orders per day,” Thalmann recalls, adding the $100,000 in online sales that Chalet had generated in one week in April matched the total in online sales Chalet had cha-chinged in … 2019. All of 2019. “Gangbusters. It was exciting and stressful and crazy. It was a challenging time for all of us, emotionally and energy-wise. A lot of us had to change gears quickly. “Our e-commerce, it’s growing fast. Customers are loving it; lots of repeat sales.” Thalmann’s great grandfather, L.J. Thalmann, launched Chalet as a yard care business in 1917, when a 22-year-old Boston Red Sox pitcher/ outfielder named Babe Ruth hit a grand total of two homers in 52 games the year before the onset of the Spanish flu. Chalet is now a one-stop destination for inspired landscape design, classically

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fresh products, curated home décor, and customer service that creates lifelong connections. A recipient of “Innovator of the Year” honors by Garden Center magazine, Chalet earned a special recognition in retail sales award from the Perennial Plant Association in 2019. Its 183-acre, growing nursery Chalet Farm, born in 2004, produces high-quality, lush plants and pure wildflower honey in Bristol, Wisconsin. The market leader’s succinct, clear mission: “We make beautiful simple.” Second-generation co-owner Lawrence J. Thalmann Jr.—the father of current Chalet President Lawrence J. Thalmann III—died in 2018 at age 88. “My grandfather was known for his sense of humor, as well as for his enthusiastic storytelling and his love of dogs and birds,” says Lawson Thalmann, who lives in the Chicago neighborhood, Bucktown. “He had a big grin, along with a white, bushy beard. He was jolly. Looked a lot like Santa Claus.” Chalet’s month of May, so far? Merry, for the most part. Normally 60 employees work the floor at the North Shore staple’s Garden Shop. Thirty employees, Thalmann reports, do so now. Either Chalet HR Manager Sandy Van den Avont or Chalet Head of Safety Kevin Kaufman greeted each customer at the door in early May. “We knew safety for our staff and customers would be a priority weeks before we were allowed to reopen,” Thalmann says. “So we weren’t forced to react on May 1; we were ready. Before the pandemic, an employee typically spent 20-25 minutes with a customer, walking around with them, helping in any way, and answering questions. Unfortunately we’re not able to spend that much time with each customer now, but we’re operating well with a limited staff.” With temperatures creeping toward 70 degrees, coopedup-forever homeowners are itching to head outdoors and spruce up their yards. Home is a haven, now more than ever, and Chalet’s awardwinning landscape architects doublemajor in enhancing turf and customizing design solutions. “During this unprecedented and Lawson Thalmann

| SATURDAY MAY 16 | SUNDAY MAY 17 2020

This pandemic has provided us with a reality check. Just because our garden center is one of the best in the country doesn’t mean we can get away with being complacent.

challenging time, let us help create a sense of tranquility through nature,” Chalet President Lawrence J. Thalmann III tells his company’s website visitors near the end of a heartfelt message. Lawson Thalmann’s outdoor space at his place in Bucktown is too small for a garden. Last year Skokie-based Rise Gardens, a start-up with the mission “Grow What You Eat,” installed a smart indoor hydroponic gardening system in Thalmann’s home, where it yields vegetables, herbs, and fruit. “That’s a special interaction, technology with gardening,” Thalmann says. “I had a lot of interest in it before COVID-19. I like to sniff things out, like that Rise Gardens system, and make them available to our customers. We’re finding more and more people would rather grow their vegetables at home rather than venture out to shop for them at a grocery store. “And,” he continues, “when will people feel comfortable again in restaurants, even after they reopen?” The thought of any North Shore business going out of business because of the pandemic pains Thalmann. Small businesses are in jeopardy, bigtime. Thalmann’s thoughts, on the health of Chalet? “We do a lot of things well, but we can still improve from an operations standpoint,” he says. “This pandemic has provided us with a reality check. Just because our garden center is one of the best in the country doesn’t mean we can get away with being complacent. Complacency—that’s the last thing my dad wants to see around here. Our staff understands what the North Shore values, and that’s why we won’t stop shooting to up our game each year. “I see everybody at Chalet rallying together and supporting one another during this difficult time. We have to scratch and claw in order to survive and thrive.” Chalet Nursery, 847-256-0561, is located at 3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette. Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit chaletnursery.com. Click the line “Safety is our Service” near the top of the site’s home page for in-store shopping guidelines. THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND


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HIGHLAND HIGHLAND PARK COLDWELL PARK BANKER BANKER | 1741| 2nd | 1741 1741 Street 2nd Street HIGHLAND PARKCOLDWELL COLDWELL BANKER 2nd Street

Theisproperty information herein is derived various sources that include, be limited to, county records and MultipleListing Listing Service, and may approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it iswarranted not warranted should not rely upon itnot without ty information The propertyherein information derived herein fromisvarious derived sources from various thatfrom may sources include, that but maynot include, bemay limited but not to,but county be not limited records to, county and the records Multiple andListing thethe Multiple Service, and itService, may include andititapproximations. mayinclude include approximations. Although the information Although theis information believed to be is believed accurate, toitbe is accurate, not it is not andand warranted youyou should and not you rely should upon without rely upon it without personal verification. Real agentswith affiliated with Banker Coldwell Bankerare Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Realty. All All Rights Reserved. Coldwell BankerBanker Realty fully supports the principles of Fair the Fair Housing Act andthe theEqual Equal Opportunity Act. erification. personalReal verification. estate agents Real estate affiliated agents withestate affiliated Coldwell Banker Coldwell Realty are independent Realty contractor independent sales contractor associates, sales not associates, employees. not©2020 employees. Coldwell ©2020 Banker Coldwell Realty.Banker Banker All Rights Realty. Reserved. Rights Coldwell Reserved. Banker Coldwell Realty fully supports Realty fully the principles supports the of the principles Housing of theAct Fair and Housing Act and Opportunity the Equal Act. Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. a subsidiary Owned byofaNRT subsidiary LLC. Coldwell of NRT LLC. Banker Coldwell and theBanker Coldwell andBanker the Coldwell Logo are Banker registered Logo are service registered marksservice owned marks by Coldwell ownedBanker by Coldwell Real Estate Banker LLC. Real Estate LLC. *Based on MRED data 1/1/2018-12/31/2019 *Based on MRED *Baseddata on MRED 1/1/2018-12/31/2019 data 1/1/2018-12/31/2019

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

SATURDAY MAY 16 | SUNDAY MAY 17 2020 |

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JUST SOLD

1027 CHERRY STREET WINNETKA 5 BEDROOM, 4.1 BATH

Cheryl Chambers SENI O R BRO KER A S S O CI AT E

847.977.3924 • cheryl@chamberscross.com

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| SATURDAY MAY 16 | SUNDAY MAY 17 2020

THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

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The North Shore Weekend, May 16, 2020  

The North Shore Weekend is published every week and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield, Glenc...

The North Shore Weekend, May 16, 2020  

The North Shore Weekend is published every week and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield, Glenc...

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